I have a tough time getting away to cry alone these days. Its not that I cannot run off somewhere when I need to just get quiet with the Lord. Rather, its that lately it seems no matter where I go, The Lord is wanting to get me to see His children, my family, the way He sees them.
Last week I attempted to escape to the gym. Pushing weight has always been an activity that has helped focus my mind and talk with God on whatever is on my heart. This day though I wanted nothing but to be left alone. I pulled my hat down as far as I could without tripping over the machines around me and was approaching my weights when the Lord asked me something.
“David, what do you see?”
I often hide pain behind humor.. I am actually pretty good at it… making light of something that is in reality deeply troubling to me, but since I am an open book, it’s also quite a bit of fun, because I know I am not fooling anyone… which makes it all the more amusing to myself… and I am pretty big on amusing myself.
“I don’t see anything Lord.. my hat is down.” I actually laughed aloud at this, partly because of the notion of my response, and partly because I was preparing myself for an all too familiar encounter that I knew would stir up passion.
“Look around the room.”
“Lord, I want to grow up. I dont want you to have to catch me off guard to impart your heart on a matter, so let me please just settle my spirit and then I will look around. I want to see what you see before you have to tell me, OK?”
I took a moment, it wasn’t long. I could feel a pull on my heart and already tears were welling up. Love and power. Power and tenderness. Tenderness and fierceness. Fierceness and love…
This kept cycling over and over and over in my heart. With eyes closed I could feel this cycle of strength. The strength of lions and the tenderness of those lions protecting their cubs… while slaughtering to feed.
Opening my eyes and pushing back my baseball cap, I looked around… and I saw them.
My eyes were drawn to each man in the weight room. There was only one problem. What I saw did not match what I perceived moments ago with my eyes shut. I saw men that were big, tough… and scared. Trapped animals. Trapped inside the false belief system of this world. The god of this world has done a magnificent job of weaving the lie that a “true man” is a man who tries not to cry at funerals, is slightly rough with his sons, and amongst other things, exerts himself as an Alpha in his surroundings. This is a real warrior.
Or is it?
“David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.” 1 Sam 17:51
“David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” 1 Sam 30:4
I spoke no words to my Savior. I just stood there, getting more and more choked up at the brokenness I saw in my lost family.
“Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains.” 1 Chron 12:8
“These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.” Sam 23:8
“(David and his men)… mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 2 Samuel 1:12
“The time has come for this generation to be set free, David.”
It was at that instant I saw what He was saying. I suddenly saw a room filled with men that knew what it meant to be loved by their Father, redeemed by their Savior, and experiencing the power of the kingdom through a revelation of the reality of the Holy Spirit living powerfully inside them. These men were not afraid to tear down the kingdom of the enemy.. or show tenderness. These men were licking their chops to set others’ free of sickness in Jesus’ name…and were quite comfortable expressing their feelings. These were men that relished the opportunity to stand up and shout in a mall, airport or packed out street corner to the world that their is One God and one Mediator. Thumping their shields with the sword of the word they proclaim to all around them, “Jesus is Lord!!”
“In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot–twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.” 2 Sam 21:20-
“In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod. “ 2 Sam 21:19
“Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite… he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.” (2 Sam 23:10)
These men cry.
“When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” 1 Sam 30:3
“But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot.” 2 Samuel 15:30
“I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.” Psalm 6:6
I slowly backed myself into the nearest shadow, behind a machine, letting my tears run freely as I saw the beauty of my Father’s sons. These broken, lost, fractured men are called to be kings and rulers under the headship of the King of kings. I felt many of their hearts… locked up treasures. Deep hidden treasures of immense value to our Dad. Who will dare to speak to them about such things?
The Lord is also setting the table for deep, intimate fellowship with men whose hearts already know and love Him deeply.. but dont yet walk in the revelation and understanding in heart that one cannot be “more” of a man.
These are the forerunners who are called to dare to go forth and teach others what true identity is in Christ.
I believe this generation of men is being called out of the world’s pride of life. No more lies. No more self deception. We shall know the truth, and the truth shall make us free, and who the Son sets free shall be free indeed. (John 8:32,36)
We are His creation. Created in His image, we are complete in Him. We cannot become less or more than what He already says we are. We are complete. The most frail, unathletic, pocket-saver, pencil toting guy cannot and never will be less a man than the one who looks like a deposed greek god, hurled down from Mt Hermon.
His sons and daughters can do nothing to add to their masculinity or femininity. There is no place for this in the Word of God. There is no place for this in our thinking if we are to walk in the mind of Christ.
This is not a bible study… or a scriptural text sermon. This was a brief and intense time of fellowship I had with our Savior that I knew I wanted to share.
Men… begin to seek out what your Heavenly Dad says about you. How do we do this? Simple. Read what the Living Word says. Its pretty good. Then decide you will accept that over your contradicting upbringing and thoughts. (2 Cor 10:5)
“Warrior poets.” I whispered to myself as I hid from view. “These are warrior poets.”
In whatever area of a man’s life we do not turn to God and His kingdom truth, we turn to believe a lie in its place. There is no grey. The more we walk in the liberty of knowing our value and worth in the eyes of our Creator, the more we are free to simply “be.” We then begin to enter into the joy of expression without shame, embarrassment, or the just plain weirdness that so many believers exhibit because we are trying to wear some self imposed christian mask. Its a dark, bondage filled, fearful place to live out of.. and rather boring in my humble opinion.
Legalism has at its root the same belief as spiritual excessiveness. The root is an ignorance to the reality that we are the righteousness of Christ. This was a gift given us at salvation. It is ours. It is yours.
Dare to walk in it. Dare to rest in it. Dare to be who you were already transformed into the moment you accepted the Kingdom inside you.
“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)